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September 23, 2011
New Zealand have included three uncapped players - Doug Bracewell, Rob Nicol and Graeme Aldridge - in their ODI squad for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, and two - Bracewell and Dean Brownlie - for the one-off Test in Harare. Fast bowler Kyle Mills, who last played in 2009, returns to the Test squad along with offspinner Jeetan Patel and batsman BJ Watling.
These are the first squads selected after New Zealand Cricket appointed John Buchanan as its director of cricket and Kim Littlejohn as national selection manager. It is also New Zealand's first series since their 2011 World Cup campaign ended in March, and therefore the first under Ross Taylor's captaincy, after Daniel Vettori stepped down and said he would be taking a break from one-day and Twenty20 cricket in an effort to prolong his Test career.
The limited-overs squad contains 11 players who featured at the World Cup, along with batsmen Watling and Nicol, and allrounders Bracewell and Aldridge. The World Cup players not in this squad were injured fast bowlers Tim Southee and Hamish Bennet, batsman Jamie How, fast bowler Daryl Tuffey, whose contract with NZC was not renewed, and retired allrounder Scott Styris.
"Rob Nicol has earned his place after having good domestic performances last season. We think that the wickets in Zimbabwe, it is important to have good spin options and he provides us with extra cover in the batting," New Zealand coach John Wright said. "The retirement of Scott Styris has given both Rob and James Franklin the opportunity to work for that space.
"Bracewell did very well at the Emerging Player Tournament so that led to his selection in both tour parties. Like Bracewell, Brownlie had a good EPT and strong domestic form so has earned his place. He's a player we think a fair bit of. Watling comes back to serve in both squads as batting cover and also as wicketkeeping cover for the ODIs and Twenty20s.
"Jeetan is further down the line than his competitors in terms of experience and we've been encouraged by what we've seen at the camp. This is a good opportunity for Kyle Mills. He is keen to play the five-day form of the game so he'll take his chance with the other four bowlers. He has done a lot of training this winter and is keen to play."
Littlejohn was hopeful Southee would be fit for the Test series. Southee had injured his knee while training for the Champions League Twenty20. "We will continue to closely monitor Southee's fitness in the build-up-up to tour and are hopeful that he will recover in time for the Test series," Littlejohn said. "His left knee will be reassessed by our medical staff with final decision on his availability taken in the next couple of weeks."
Batsman Daniel Flynn was unavailable for selection because he had aggravated a pre-existing hip injury at the pre-tour camp.
ODI and Twenty20 squad: Ross Taylor (capt), Graeme Aldridge, Doug Bracewell, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Andy McKay, Kyle Mills, Rob Nicol, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson, Luke Woodcock.
Test squad: Ross Taylor (capt), Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Andy McKay, Kyle Mills, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, BJ Watling, Reece Young.
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